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Learn more about Postgres' performance

  • Aug 28, 2013 · 6:15 PM

For August's presentation night on 8/28, we will stray from Python technologies a bit. We will learn about how the database layer works to help you to be more well rounded in your programming.


To many application developers the database is a black box. You expect to be able to put data into your database, have it to stay there, and get it out when you query it... hopefully in a performant manner. When its not performant enough the two options are usually add some indexes or throw some hardware at it. We'll walk through a bit of a clearer guide of how you can understand how database is doing from a 30,000 foot perspective as well as analyze specific problematic queries and how to tune them. In particular we'll cover:

* Postgres Caching

* Postgres Indexing

* Explain Plans

* Extensions

* Some packages that can help

* More

Speaker Bio:
Craig Kerstiens works at Heroku and has worn a variety of hats from engineering to product management, as well as launching their support for Python.  He currently runs product for the Heroku Postgres team.  He has been working with both Python and Postgres off and on for many years and curates a variety of Postgres channels today such as and postgresweekly. He also blogs about Python at


6:15p - Check-in and mingle, with Pizza and Beer provided by our generous sponsor Yelp!

7:00p - Welcome and announcements

7:10p - 3-4 Lightning Talks (5 minutes each)

7:30p - Featured Talk

8:15p - Q & A and more mingling, ping pong, pool

9:30p - Doors close. Late owls continue on to Thirsty Bear

*Please take note of the important check-in details at Yelp*


*** important logistics***

If you've encountered something cool recently, please submit a topic for your lightning talk when you RSVP for the event. Please note that recruiting pitches are not acceptable as lightning talks.  Don't know what lightning talks are?  Learn more:


Doors will open at 6:15pm to allow enough time for the check-in process.

Please update the name on your account to reflect your FIRST NAME and LAST NAME. Yelp Security and Hy will be checking IDs at the door. *Please note: You WILL ONLY be allowed into the event if we have your first and last name (that matches the name on your ID) prior to the event.

Since alcohol will be served at the event, we ask that any underage attendees RSVP directly to the meetup host.

If you will be bringing a guest, please provide us with their first and last name as well.

Waiting list folks will be allowed into the event AFTER we admit all confirmed attendees.

Yelp is generously providing pizza, drinks, and beer in addition to their venue space. Please respect and abide by the event terms/guidelines: YELP EVENT GUIDELINES.

As usual, looking forward to meeting you and feel free to ping me with questions or suggestions -


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  • Mik K.

    Very informative. Thank you Craig!

    August 31, 2013

  • Chris M.

    This was my first meetup. I thought the organizers did a great job and were really welcoming to new ppl. The talk was great too. I haven't used postgres' much but the talk was very easy to follow.

    August 30, 2013

  • Craig K.

    For those interested slides from my talk last night can be found at

    4 · August 29, 2013

  • coban T.

    Hi everyone,

    I left a Lonely Planet Bhutan travel book either in the kitchen area or by the couches last night after Postgres talk. If anyone found it, please contact me.



    August 29, 2013

  • Stefan M.

    Two Scoops of Django simply states: "Django + PostgresSQL Rocks", but thanks to Craig's talk, I have a better understanding why it is better to use Postgres. My favorite reason is the ability to use conditional indexes in Postgres: indexing a column is not "totally free" because it will increase write time. But by using a conditional index, you only incur this penalty when it will pay off in improved performance for the queries that really need the help of an index.

    2 · August 28, 2013

  • Silin N.

    This was my first meetup ever, and I learned a lot of good Postgres stuffs from setup to advices. Thanks for the good words and experience sharing!

    August 28, 2013

  • Simeon F.

    In response to Hy's question about indexes concurrently with pg and Django -

    Is this really the best way to do it still?

    August 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I also missed the RSVP, and I'm underage. Can I come?

    August 28, 2013

    • Simeon F.

      Sure Zack -We usually get everybody in.

      August 28, 2013

    • Hy C.

      Zack and others who missed the RSVP. Please try to show up around 6:40-7pm, so folks who have RSVP'd can be let in first.

      August 28, 2013

  • Bobby D.

    Hey I missed the RVSP is there anyway I could still get in?

    August 28, 2013

    • Grace L.

      I have added you to the list. C u soon.

      1 · August 28, 2013

  • alexandra D.

    Hey guys, i'm bringing a guest, and her name ir inês serra! See you then!

    August 28, 2013

  • Josh B.

    This is the same night as the Django Meetup, so I won't get to heckle Craig. Would be nice if those two meetups coordinated to avoid booking the same nights ...

    August 21, 2013

    • Craig K.

      Josh dont worry, I'll be at the Django one in September, and you as good as anyone have ample opportunity for heckling.

      August 21, 2013

    • Hy C.

      Thank you for the suggestion Josh. Rudy and I are now in touch and will try to avoid future collisions.

      1 · August 28, 2013

  • Ryutaro M.

    I just found the group. hope I can get in meeting tomorrow

    August 28, 2013

  • Ryutaro M.

    I just found the group. hope I can get in meeting tomorrow

    August 28, 2013

  • Arthur G.

    Sounds like a fascinating topic

    August 24, 2013

  • Ned D.

    If you are planning to drive to the East Bay after the meetup, keep in mind that the Bay Bridge is scheduled to close at 8pm Wednesday evening for its Labor Day weekend surgery.

    August 23, 2013

    • Tajalli

      Yelp is close to the Montgomery St BART. BART stations in the East Bay have pretty good parking options, so BARTing into the City might be best choice for Wednesday anyhow, or casual carpool in the morning and BART back at night.

      August 23, 2013

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